In 2012, the first 9 women’s club teams were formed at Tibetan schools around India, and the school teams became instantly popular, with girls competing for a place on the teams. From those 9 teams, the top players were selected to undergo intensive football and empowerment training in preparation for the formation of Tibet’s first women’s national team.
The program was conceived by Cassie Childers, an American teacher and life-long soccer player, and the Tibetan National Sports Association.
The social climate in Dharamsala is complex. Tibetans displaced from their homeland gather on the edge of the Himalayas in India to start new lives and learn to survive in a foreign land. Life can be difficult, especially for females. Much of the burden of making a new home and adjusting to a new society falls upon them. They experience limited opportunities to express themselves physically and recreationally. Organized sports are a way for female Tibetans to enrich their lives through playful interaction with each other and by generating a new, positive presence in their community.
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